11 Songs, 40 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Tim Galstan ,

Worth the wait

Well it took 7 years but Acoustic Alchemy finally has a new album. “The Girl With a Plan” is classic Acoustic Alchemy, similar to “Ariane,” and I knew I would like it when I heard it live this past summer and it does not disappoint. “Winter’s End” will become an all time favorite of mine as well. This album also has two tribute songs “Blues for Mr. Mu” in honor of Walter Becker of Steely Dan and “Carmen’s Man” in honor of Chuck Loeb (there may be a third tribute as I have always suspected “The Wind of Change” is also a tribute). Both tributes do justice to their intended targets. This is a very easy album to listen to as background music or to relax, with the exception of “East of Babylon” which just seems out of place when listening to the album straight through. Overall this album was worth the wait and is probably my favorite since The Beautiful Game. Great work gentlemen and please don’t keep us waiting another 7 years for more new music.

dbelldc ,

Beautiful, Complex, and Reflective

33 1/3 is probably Acoustic Alchemy's most introspective album since 1998's "Positive Thinking." The band has shared that they have been through a lot of challenges over the past few years, hence why it's been so long since their last studio album. After a string of very heavily-produced albums including "American/English," "This Way," and "Roseland," this album highlights a more organic sound that feels slightly reminiscent of AA's earlier work, yet retains that eagerness to take chances and explore new ground that has characterized the latter half of their 33+ years.

The opening track "East of Babylon" is of course meant to startle you, as if defiantly announcing the band's return to our earbuds. But it gives way to the toe-tapper "Carmen's Man." the band's dedication to Chuck Loeb. The standouts on this album include the hauntingly beautiful track "The Swallow's Tale," in which Greg's nylon-string guitar shines, and the acoustic duet in "Winter's End." Both tracks employ much more reserved use of the saxophone than has been present in AA's prior albums, which makes its presence all the more captivating and delightful when it does appear.

And no review of this album would be complete without calling out "The Girl with a Plan" and its infectiously groovy bass riff, strutted by Gary Grainger. What a great way to cap off the band portion of this album; I'm sure this track will be established as one of Acoustic Alchemy's classics for years to come.

There are so many layers to the writing of these pieces and the construction of this album that it continues to grow on me every time I listen to it. Kudos to Acoustic Alchemy for yet another exemplary addition to their extensive catalog of work.

SmoothJazz.com Global ,


Greg Carmichael, founding member of seminal guitar driven contemporary jazz ensemble Acoustic Alchemy, is a true survivor. He regrouped after the passing of band co-founder Nick Webb 20 years ago, and now, with longtime partner Miles Gilderdale, creates some of the group’s most compelling and diverse music ever on 33 1/3, the title reflecting on the band’s age. Recorded in the wake of Carmichael’s wife experiencing a life-threatening bout with meningitis and the loss of their long-time friend and manager, Steward Coxhead. The first studio album in seven years is a collection that darts by design, across a stylistic map from the assertive world-fusion fun on the opening track, “East of Babylon” to an exhilarating nod to fallen guitar hero, Chuck Loeb with “Carmen’s Man.” In addition, it includes a Steely Dan-esque pop/blues tribute to Walter Becker, “Blues For Mr. Mu,” while the album also brushes on Latin, classical and contemporary sonic realms, it also includes a full band collaboration “The Girl With A Plan,” a title inspired by global radio pioneer and decades long companion, Sandy Shore. With a fresh, new energy, their trademark melodic chemistry created by an alchemy of nylon and steel guitars shines brightly through.

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